Farmers, food, neighbors, live classical musicians, community, and the graceful art of ballet. This is what makes Vermont’s Farm to Ballet so unique. Now in its fourth year, agriculture and dance will offer audiences delightful summer evenings of entertainment with eight performances on farms throughout Vermont. This year, Farm to Ballet comes to Vermont Grand View Farm in Washington, Vermont, on Sunday, July 15, at 6 pm.
Produced by Ballet Vermont, the performance will include a live string sextet during the entire feature-length production. The ballet takes place without the traditional staging, lights, or backdrop of a theater-based performance, and will be performed at Grand View Farm, which sits high on a hill overlooking the Green Mountains. The farm is home to the state’s only flock of Swedish Gotland sheep. Farm owner Kim Goodling says, “We are so excited to host the first ever Farm to Ballet performance in Orange County. It will be an amazing evening of community fellowship, music, dance, and good food!”
The performance is especially exciting for Goodling because her daughter, Anna, appears as a soloist in the production. “I am so excited to have the company dancing at my family’s farm,” says Anna. “The best part, for me, is the community—both the community the dancers build together, and the local communities we are privileged to come into when we perform. Inviting the company into my own local community is such a wonderful merging of the two. I am eager to share the hard work the Farm to Ballet dancers have done with my family, my neighbors, my town.”
Guests are encouraged to arrive up to one hour and 30 minutes before showtime to check out the view from the top of the hill, enjoy a self-guided tour of the farm, or watch a sheepdog demonstration. Families can also visit the fiber studio, where farm products will be on display and available for purchase. Guests should also bring chairs or blankets for seating.
A portion of the ticket sales for this performance, which tells the story of a Vermont farming operation from spring to fall, will assist in construction of a new manure composting system designed to have a low impact on natural resources that surround Grand View Farm. This will also assist the farm in meeting the state’s new required agricultural practices and improve forage quality, which enhances the health of the sheep. Over the last three summer seasons Farm to Ballet has raised over $55,000 in support of sustainable agriculture.
Vermont native and homesteader, Avi Waring, returns in the title role of the farmer and leads a cast of accomplished dancers. A professional dancer and dance educator, Waring co-founded Ballet Wolcott and the Montpelier Movement Collective.
Attendees can bring their own picnic dinner or visit Farmer Chuck for wood fired pizza with ingredients from local farms (including gluten-free crust). Please bring cash for purchases.
Tickets are available now at farmtoballet.org. Advance-purchase ticket prices are $20 for adults and kids 12 and under are free.